TALLINN - Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has promised that the state would come up with an additional eight million euros to meet the salary demands of teachers.
"We have reached an agreement that the Ministry of Education would come up with an additional eight million euros from its resources to further increase teachers' salaries next year," Kallas said at a government press conference on Thursday.
Kallas noted that it is currently not possible to incorporate this change into the state budget law, which is presently being handled by the parliament.
"However, it is important to know that this money is available, and technically we can make a separate legislative amendment in this regard," she stated.
Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas said that the eight million will go towards raising the minimum wage for teachers. Of this, 5.35 million euros is needed to increase the support fund of local governments.
The minister added that for teachers with high qualifications, support has been planned to the salary fund of local governments.
"Another concern is that teachers' workload has increased over the years," Kallas said, adding that part of the problem is that students' needs must be adressed individually, which increases teachers' workload.
However, teachers have stated in wage negotiations that this step is not sufficient to meet their salary demands.